Friday, May 18, 2012

All the Colors of the Rainbow

A blog reader recently said they wanted to hear my thoughts on "the appeal of Oz to gay men," since I recently figured out I was one. I didn't think I had a real viewpoint, but now I think I have an idea.

Frankly, I don't think Oz specifically appeals to gay people. The Oz phenomenon has become so varied that there are things many people can love. There are some people not into Oz period, while some Oz fans are into film adaptations, musical versions, the original books, or other works. Some fans even like a smattering of each.

Trying to narrow down one thing about Oz and one thing about why it appeals to a certain type of people isn't doing many favors to Oz or the people you're looking at. Just as varied as the Oz phenomenon is, so are people, gay, straight or whatever else they are.

Oz fans like different things about Oz for different reasons, and people, regardless of their sexual orientation, have different tastes and mannerisms, not necessarily dictated by anything else about who they are.

Any of that make sense?

Okay, let's say the entire Oz phenomenon is like a big buffet restaurant like Golden Corral or Ryan's. Wide variety of things to choose from, and anyone can come in and get what they like.

Because people grasp the concept of food so well...


Mark R Hunter said...

I always did wonder why some people thought of Oz as a "gay thing" ... in my experience most people are thinking of the 1939 movie when they talk about that, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

Once I read a book in which a researcher suggested most of Baum's male characters were "damaged" in some way: no heart, no brain, one legged, always getting lost, humbug ... Maybe the idea came from there, back in the murky olden days when everyone who wasn't "normal" was considered less than whole.

Jared said...

Exactly. Oz is not a gay thing. Gay people like it, but so do a lot of other people.

The whole idea of gay/flawed characters is faulty. Once I came to terms with my own sexuality, I didn't think I was flawed. Rather, I felt like the missing piece was finally put in the puzzle of my personality.

British Fan Of Oz said...

I've never said that Oz is strictly a gay thing but as an out gay man I have come to notice that there is a Hugh ratio of gay men drawn to Oz compared to many other things I collect or am into.

There are equally lot's of gay men who are not into Oz and my husband is a fine example of that. Equally there are many heterosexual peope who enjoy Oz but there does appear to be a link with gay men at times with Oz.
I think much of it come from the MGM movie and perhaps this can be through a love of musical which again stereotypically could be considered popular with gay men.

But the OZ thing has always fascinated me 90 % of the people on Facebook who are friends Through Oz are gay men.

Yet over the years many of the gay men I have met have some love for Oz those lovers of the books I have often wonder is this because the accepting utopia created? Possibly. Or Oz fans I have met who mentioned that they particularly meet gay men with a love of Oz.

The Movie perhaps this is with connection Judy a garland her tragedy that again has been linked to the gay community. Stonewall has been linked to Judy Garland the rainbow flag there are several connection from tat perspectivr.

Yet without being of Judy's garland tragic life style I was drawn to OZ before realising that I was gay, I have no explanation for it at all same as many other gay guys have somehow been drawn to it and i have always been curious as to why.

There are things that seem to have a higher gay man draw than normal Doctor Who is another, again this has a high heterosexual draw to but England has a big gay following compared to other British program's.

Why sometimes are some of the gay drawn to into these things without realsing it that is my fascination. Yet I known many gay girls who are drawn to quite different Thing i just often wonder is there a psychological draw.

I just intiwlly wondered if Jared had a perspective on it as newly out or perhaps Jared hasn't Come across ratio of gay men that I have who seem to find a connection with Oz.


Jared said...

Well, you asked for my perspective, there it is.

Are gay people normally attracted to fantasy literature? Perhaps the heavy Oz focus is that it is one of the few rich and "open source" fantasies out there.

British Fan Of Oz said...

Exactly I asked for your perspective to see if you felt there was a link. I'minteredted on different people perspective, which is whyt I was curious on your current thoughts. I just thought i need to make clear from other comments that I don't see the Oz as solely Gay man thing is all, just That I and other have noticed a particular interest.

I would say it's nessacarily a draw just to fantasy literature and it certainly not true of everyone some ofmy friends have no interest in fantasy or Oz.

Jared said...

It is a curious thing, but it's also something that can be read too deeply into. Why Oz might appeal to a gay person might be the same reason why it appeals to a straight person, while another gay person who likes Oz may have another reason entirely.

rocketdave said...

The answer is pretty simple, actually. It's 'cause ruby slippers are faaabulous!

Okay, but seriously, this is something I've kinda wondered about myself, but as someone who is not gay, it's not something I feel qualified to address. And even if I'd been burning up with curiosity, I would have been hesitant to broach the subject on my own, lest I seem insensitive by calling attention to it or whatever.

I was not aware of Doctor Who having a larger than usual gay following, though that doesn't surprise me, primarily if one is talking about the new series, which is very progressive in its inclusion of many non-straight characters.

Jared said...

I think it can get really insensitive when you try to make a generalization about why certain people do certain things. People are different, and when you make a generalization, someone always gets left out.